Watford 1-0 Everton: Troy Deeney strikes late for hosts
By Oliver Yew
Last Updated: 25/02/18 12:02am
Troy Deeney struck late as Watford secured a 1-0 win against Everton in the Premier League at Vicarage Road on Saturday.
Captain Deeney scored his first goal from open play in 27 matches in the 79th minute of what was at times a drab affair to seal Javi Gracia's second win in charge.
Victory moves Watford up to 10th, one point behind Everton and six points clear of the relegation zone.
For Everton, their miserable away form continues with Sam Allardyce's side picking up just one win on the road since a 1-0 victory at Crystal Palace on January 21, 2017.
Watford: Karnezis (6), Janmaat (7), Mariappa (7), Prodl (7), Holeba (7), Doucoure (6), Capoue (6), Deulofeu (7), Pereyra (5), Richarlison (5), Deeney (7).
Subs: Femenia (6), Carrillo (6), Okaka (7).
Away Team: Pickford (7), Martina (6), Williams (6), Keane (6), Kenny (6), Davies (6), Gueye (5), Rooney (5), Sigurdsson (6), Walcott (6), Niasse (6).
Subs: Bolasie (6), Tosun (5), Calvert-Lewin (6).
Man of the match: Troy Deeney.
Both sides struggled in what was a lacklustre opening 45 minutes, with chances few and far between neither team showed any real ambition in attack.
Everton's best moment came in the 18th minute when Tom Davies, who was making his 50th Premier League appearance, released Oumar Niasse and the Senegal striker's deflected effort was parried away by Orestis Karnezis at his near post.
Gerard Deulofeu, who was later forced from the field because of injury, was Watford's only bright spark in the first half and he combined with Etienne Capoue, but the midfielder's shot sailed high over the crossbar.
After the break, Everton almost broke the deadlock when Michael Keane's header nearly picked out the far corner.
Watford made one change with Pereyra coming in for Zeegelaar. Gomes, Britos, Femenia and Okaka all return to the bench. Everton made two changes with Williams and Kenny replace Mangala and Coleman.
Gracia reacted by sending on Stefano Okaka and Kiko Femenia in the 56th minute and the latter almost broke the deadlock when benefitting from Jordan Pickford's poor clearance. However, the England goalkeeper atoned for his error with a smart save to deny the substitute.
Watford were ahead moments later when Deeney produced one of the few moments of quality in the game, turning in the penalty area after being picked out by Okaka's pass before powering an unstoppable shot past Pickford with 11 minutes remaining.
Watford kept a clean sheet at Vicarage Road for the first time in their last eight top-flight games.
Everton have registered just one win in their last 22 Premier League away games (D9 L12), losing each of the last four.
Watford enjoyed only their third win over Everton in their last 25 meetings in all competitions (D3 L19).
After picking up 10 points in his first four Premier League games as Everton boss, Sam Allardyce has seen his side accrue just nine in the last 10.
Watford had to wait until the 55th minute to register their first shot on target of the game, via a Troy Deeney effort (there had only been one before that from Everton).
Deeney scored from open play for the first time in his last 27 Premier League games (v West Brom April 2017).
Man of the Match - Troy Deeney
There were not many performances of note at Viacarge Road so Deeney gets the nod for producing the moment of quality that one the game.
Picked out in the penalty area by Okaka, Deeney's turn and finish was brilliant - a strike worthy of winning any game.
Everton face a trip to Turf Moor to face Burnley on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Premier League at 12.30pm, while Watford host West Brom, also on Saturday (3pm).